In the world of radio, there are those who become legends, leaving an indelible mark on the airwaves. One such luminary was Kevin Karlson, a name synonymous with classic rock and morning radio.
For over three decades, Kevin, alongside his trusted partner Pete McKenzie, brought joy and laughter to countless listeners across the country. Though he may not have collected a shelf full of radio awards, Kevin Karlson’s unique blend of snark and humor made him a beloved figure in the radio world.
Tragically, his unexpected passing has left a void in the hearts of his fans and the radio industry. In this article, we unveil the mystery surrounding Kevin Karlson’s untimely death, celebrating the life and career of a man who, despite the challenges and the odds, made radio his home.
Who is Kevin Karlson?
Together with Pete McKenzie, Kevin has worked morning radio for more than 30 years all over the nation. Ohio is where Kevin was born and reared.
He decided to take a chance on radio instead of following his guidance counselor’s advice and pursue an exciting career in retail. They have been let go from some stations and fired from others.
Kevin’s interests include whining about things and attempting—and failing—to reduce his weight. Despite being recognized as ‘Employee of the Month’ in June 1994, he has not received any radio awards.
For fourteen years, WZLX has been home to The Karlson, McKenzie, and Heather Show. It’s their longest run at any station they’ve ever worked at.
Kevin Karlson’s Death
Longtime morning show presenter Kevin Karlson of Boston classic rock radio station 100.7 WZLX-FM passed away peacefully in his sleep, the station declared.
Karlson co-hosted the morning show on WZLX with Pete McKenzie, Heather Ford, and producer Kenny Young starting in 2019.
Before moving to WZLX as a group in 2005, Karlson, McKenzie, and Ford hosted the morning show for WPDH-FM in New York. Carter Alan, the host of WZLX, stated on air that they “were not exactly sure” how Karlson passed away.
Karlson received a plethora of tributes on social media and radio, with WZLX urging listeners to share their memories of “that snarky, pot-stirring rascal,” in the words of one caller.
Boston’s radio industry is mourning the unexpected passing of morning show personality Kevin Karlson. Karlson has been part of The Karlson, McKenzie, and Heather Show on 100.7 WZLX for the last 14 years.
The public is now being invited by the radio station to call them and share their own memories of Kevin. Although WZLX did not reveal Karlson’s cause of death, Chuck Nowlin, a coworker at the station, claimed he died while sleeping.
During their long-running morning show, Karlson, McKenzie, and Heather assisted in rousing up Boston rock fans. Kevin Karlson was 59 years old.
What is WZLX?
Boston, Massachusetts’s WZLX radio station broadcasts classic rock music. iHeartMedia is the owner and operator of this station. One of the first classic rock FM stations in America was WZLX.
Its transmitter is located atop the Prudential Tower, and its studios are located in Medford. In the middle of October 1985, the station changed to its current format and call sign, WZLX.
First Media Corporation, the station’s owners, hired Gary Guthrie to design their classic hits format. This format catered to listeners who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s and loved the music of those years but disliked the popular 1980s top 40 “hot hits” or heavy metal of the time.
These were people whose mindset was getting too old for AOR and the top 40 but were too young for or not interested in oldies.
WZLX’s rise from 19th to 2nd place in the Adults 25-54 demographic during its first ratings period indicates that the station is regarded as one of the classic rock format’s early success stories.
Bill Smith was employed as the station’s program director and morning host in 1986 after Guthrie took his format idea to other radio stations he advised.
In 1990, Guthrie would make a second visit to the station in an effort to boost its ratings. In late 1992, WZLX became a part of Cook Inlet Radio Partners and then Infinity Broadcasting, following a series of ownership changes.